1 January 2020 (1 January 2021) - New Year’s DayIn the western world the 1st January has commonly been celebrated as the first day of the New Year since the Middle Ages. In 153 BC the Romans moved this celebration from 1st March to 1st January, the day on which the consul took office. The years were also named after the tenure of each consul. Around the turn of the year, pagan and Christian winter customs give insights into Bavarian culture and its traditions.
6 January 2020 (6 January 2021) - EpiphanyThe origins of this holiday go right back to the three kings who in the Christmas story as reported in the New Testament were known as the Three Wise Men of the East. At the time of Christ’s birth the three wise men saw a bright star burning in the sky, the star we call the Christmas star, and followed it to the birthplace of the baby Jesus.
10 April 2020 (2 April 2021) - Good Friday EasterThe most important festival in the Christian year, is considered a time to meditate on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The roots lie in the Jewish feast of Passah (Pessach). Easter Sunday falls on the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the start of spring. Especially in Franconia, there is the beautiful Easter Wells tradition: Every year at Easter, the fountains are festively decorated.
13 April 2020 (5 April 2021) - Easter MondayThis most important of festivals known as the Holy Tridium (Triduum paschale) has developed through history since the 4th century. A second tridium comprising Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday was attached creating three work-free days. Every year on Easter Monday, the Georgiritt in Traunstein hosts one of the most magnificent and largest horse pilgrimages in Bavaria.
1 May 2020 (1 May 2021) - May Day or Labour DayAt the inception conference of the Second International (International Workingmen’s Association) in 1889 May 1st was instigated as "Labour Day" to enforce fair working conditions. The day was then declared a public holiday just for one year in 1919 by the Weimar National Assembly. The National Socialists introduced it as an annual public holiday in 1933, which hence forth was to be known as "National Labour Day“. The day was however abused to disseminate propaganda, unions were broken up and their members persecuted. The first free May Day was celebrated in 1945 and has continued to be an annual public holiday to the present day.
21 May 2020 (13 May 2021) - Ascension Day (always falls on a Thursday)Ascension Day marks the day Christ ascended into heaven to take up his rightful place at the right hand of God. The festival that falls on the 40th day after Easter has been celebrated since 370 AD.
1 June 2020 (24 May 2021) - Whit Monday(Greek: Pentecost = "the fiftieth [day]“) is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter. Whitsun, which is also known as the “birthday of the church”, is marked by very special religious services and celebrations. It also denotes the end of the Easter period. At Whitsun the church remembers the day when following Christ’s ascension into heaven, the Holy Ghost descended to Christ’s disciples. From this day forward the disciples began to teach about Jesus. In many towns and villages throughout Bavaria Whit Monday is a day marked by magnificent horse backed processions e.g. in Bad Kötzting, Sankt Englmar, Ochsenfurt and Erlangen.
11 June 2020 (3 June 2021) - Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi, a Roman Catholic feast day to celebrate the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ, is held on the second Thursday after Whitsunday and noted by a procession in which a monstrance containing the Host is carried aloft through the streets with the congregation processing in its wake. One notable such festivity is the lake procession that takes place each year in Murnau am Staffelsee and which is the only one of its kind in Germany.
15 August 2020 (15 August 2021) - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryThe Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church feast day held on the 15th August and celebrated mainly in Catholic communities. The festival that celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s ascension into heaven has been part of the religious calendar since the 6th century.
3 October 2020 (3 October 2021) - German Unity DayGerman Unity Day that is celebrated on 3rd October every year was introduced as a national holiday in Germany in 1990. It marks the reunification of the two German states that was completed on this day.
This holiday replaced a public holiday that was held on 17th June in the Federal Republic and the “Republic Day” in the GDR that was held on the 7th October.
1 November 2020 (1 November 2021) - All Saints' Dayis a Roman Catholic festival and a day to pay tribute to the saints in the independent Evangelical Lutheran church. Pope Gregory IV instigated the 1st November as the day on which the entire western church is to commemorate the saints back in the 9th century.
25 December 2020 (25 December 2021) - Christmas DayThis is the main day on which we celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ. Celebrations begin at sundown on Christmas Eve, on 24th December. 25th December that is a public holiday in many countries marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities. Christmas officially runs from Christmas Day until the Sunday after Epiphany, the feast that celebrates the revelation of God in human form.
From the end of November, the Christmas markets in Bavaria will provide the first Christmas spirit and anticipation for the holidays!